Welcome to another exciting installment of Spacemon, the tale of a Pokemon TRPG campaign! This is an alternate universe story with one key difference that shifts the entire narrative in an interesting way. You should get caught up on our canonical adventures here first!
“Hey, can you give me a hand with this zipper?” With one hand, Alex held up the dress she had just put on while she fumbled around her back trying to find the zipper with the other. Despite her flexibility, the girl was unable to reach.
“Yeah, one sec,” Morgan answered. Alex glanced over to see her putting on her own dress. Once Morgan was finished, she walked over to Alex and zipped up the back of her dress.
Alex relaxed her arms now that she no longer had to hold onto her clothing. She sighed as she looked at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. A strapless dress wouldn’t have been the girl’s first choice— in fact, she wouldn’t be wearing a dress at all if not for Councilor Fontaine’s insistence. However, the red gown Alex now found herself wearing was the only one in her size available where the councilor had brought her and Morgan back on Parisia that had met her… needs.
That’s one way to put it, Alex thought as she looked down at her arms, encased in long red gloves. She felt a swell of shame as she recalled the reason she was wearing them in the first place.
“What is it?” Morgan asked.
“Oh… Uh, nothing…” Alex nervously rearranged her long, dark hair, which she was wearing down for once. Again, she had tonight’s event to blame for that.
“Well, okay,” Morgan said with a tone of incredulity. It was clear to Alex that she really didn’t believe her, but she didn’t press the issue. “Now, how about you zip me up?” Morgan turned around, pointing to the still-open back of her dress.
“Okay,” Alex said. She reached out and pulled up the zipper on Morgan’s blue dress. Morgan had been much more resistant to wearing a dress, but had ultimately agreed. Her outfit tonight was quite a bit more modest than Alex’s, but she had more options available to her.
Now that both of them were dressed, Alex and Morgan exited the bathroom back into the crew’s shared room where their male crewmates were waiting. Dmitri did not appear to mind the fancy suit he was wearing, but H looked completely miserable. “Nice pants,” Alex teased the cyborg.
H grumbled something in response, but Alex couldn’t make it out. The girl giggled as she walked over to her bag. She fished out her Pokeballs and slipped them into the fancy little handbag that came with her dress, then pulled out the small drive Shandra had given her and hung it around her neck. Alex had fashioned it into a necklace with a chain she had bought back on Parisia so she could keep it safe. Shandra was hidden away inside and there was no way she was going to let it out of her sight.
That just leaves the shoes. Alex sat down on her bed and slipped her feet into the high heels she got with the dress. It was the first time she had worn shoes of the sort, but she was limited by her choice of dress; she would be tripping over it all night if she wore flats. Carefully, the girl stood up. She took a step forward and began to wobble, but she quickly caught herself.
“Don’t fall over, now,” Morgan warned her.
“How the hell are you supposed to walk in these things?” Alex asked as she attempted to take another step forward. This time, she didn’t wobble.
“You’re the one who picked those shoes…”
Alex ignored her and, instead, focused on walking. The girl began walking back and forth across the room and, thanks to her strong strong sense of balance, she eventually got the hang of walking in heels.
“Are you quite finished messing around?” H asked, standing up with gusto. “Let us get on with this night. The less time I have to spend in these ridiculous clothes the better.”
“We had better get moving,” Morgan agreed. “The opening address is about to begin.” She opened the door and stepped into the hallway. Alex followed her out with the rest of the crew, and they all set out toward the Halcyon’s grand ballroom for the official opening of the Galactic Governance Conference.
Alex excitedly glanced around the ballroom full of conference goers in their fancy clothes dancing, mingling, and discussing business and politics as she followed her crewmates through the crowd. Never in her life had the girl thought that she would wind up in a place like this. Still feeling euphoric from her victory in her exhibition battle— not to mention Loki evolving into a Meowstic— and caught up with the romantic notion of the ball, Alex found herself yearning for the dance floor, imagining herself waltzing to the music with Shandra. Silly me, the girl caught herself. What am I thinking? There’s more important things to do right now.
Realizing she had fallen behind, Alex hastily followed after her friends, pushing past some conference goers. She joined up with them at the bar just as they were greeted by a tall Genevan man whom she could only assume was the Arlon Jett she had heard so much about.
“Long time no see,” the man said. “How’ve things been going on the Helix?”
“It’s… been fine,” Morgan answered. Alex knew that really wasn’t entirely true, but things had finally started to get back to some sense of normalcy on the ship. Maybe everything is fine now...
“Really?” Arlon asked. The mercenary didn’t seem to be buying it.
“Look, I don’t really want to talk about it,” Morgan told him. “But we’re here now and focused on the job.”
“Right, let’s get down to business then,” Arlon said, his tone shifting. “This is what I was able to figure out: the weapon is in the possession of one of the Genevan councilors in attendance. Unfortunately, I don’t know which one. We’ll need to snoop around and figure out who has the weapon.”
“Do you know what we’re looking for?” Morgan asked him.
“It’s some sort of device, probably small and portable,” Arlon explained. “I don’t know exactly how it works, but it’s powerful enough to hack into whatever it’s connected to.”
“So, I guess the next step is to figure out which councilors are in attendance,” Morgan suggested.
“Already done,” Arlon told her, pulling out his Pokedex. “I’ve narrowed down the list to a few who could potentially have the device. I just sent it to your Pokedex. I narrowed it down to eight names. Actually, make that seven, since I assume Councilor Fontaine is clean since she was your ticket in.”
“Right,” Morgan agreed. “It’s likely not her.”
“That’s what I thought. So that leaves us with Finnegan and Guinness of New Britain, Heinkel of New Germany, Moretti of New Italy, Narváez of New Spain, Nilsson of New Sweden, and Zabat of New Greece. Narrowing the list down shouldn’t be too hard. I’ve got Rena and Kiril working an angle now but if you lot want to narrow it down on your own, that will be helpful.”
“I think we can do that,” Morgan told him. “But our main plan is to get Shandra into the ship’s computer systems to help us out from the inside. While we talk to the councilors in the ballroom, Alex here will sneak out and find a place where she can get Shandra in.”
Alex perked up at the mention of her name. She noticed that Arlon had turned his attention toward her. “My replacement, I take it?” the mercenary asked. “You lot never were that great at sneaking around, were you?” he added with a laugh. “Good luck, kid.”
“Hey! I’m not a kid!” Alex responded indignantly. I hate being called that.
“Relax, luv. I was around your age when I entered this line of work. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to meet with some lovely politicians.” With that, Arlon finished off his drink, then left the bar.
“Alright, Alex, we’re going to chat with the councilors on this list if we can find them,” Morgan said once Arlon was gone. “Why don’t you go see if you can find a way to get Shandra into the system?”
“Got it,” Alex replied. She parted ways with her crewmates and moved through the crowd, searching for somewhere to slip out unnoticed. Alex clutched the small drive hanging around her neck tightly. Shandra had entrusted her with it and, by extension, herself, and she intended to keep it close and well protected. Alex checked several corridors leading away from the public areas, but all of them were watched by guards. Damn guards are everywhere...
After several more minutes of searching, Alex spotted what looked like an open path and made her move. Unfortunately, a guard suddenly appeared from around a corner and grabbed her by the arm. “Hey, where do you think you’re going?” he demanded.
Damn it, Alex cursed in her head. Okay, let’s see. “Uh… I was trying to find the bathroom,” the girl lied.
“Bathroom’s that way, miss,” the guard informed her, pointing back toward the public area.
“Right,” Alex said with a nervous laugh. “Thanks.” She turned and made her way to the bathroom to look convincing. Inside, she took a look around to see if there was any means of escape. The girl noticed a small vent in the ceiling she thought she could probably fit into, but then she remembered what she was wearing. “Damn it, if only I wasn’t wearing this stupid dress,” Alex grumbled, looking down at the red gown clinging to her small figure. There’s got to be a way.
Once an appropriate amount of time passed, Alex exited the bathroom and resumed her search for a way into the more secure areas. Eventually she lucked out and managed to slip past some guards down a secure hallway. The girl moved quickly and quietly down the hall, taking extra care to make sure her heels weren’t too loud. Alex saw many rooms with computers in them as she moved further down the corridor, but there were also security personnel. Can’t do it in there. I need to find another way.
With the rooms out of the question, Alex began to look around for something else she could use to get Shandra into the system. She noticed some important looking cables running along the walls and decided to follow them. Hopefully these lead somewhere. Eventually, the cables fed into some sort of utility box which seemed like it might be a good place to get Shandra inside.
Alex walked up to the box and, with little effort, managed to hack open the lock. Inside, she saw various switches and knobs, but, luckily, there were also a few ports that were compatible with the drive. The girl removed it from around her neck, but before she could get Shandra into the system, she heard footsteps approaching. She quickly but silently shut the box, then ducked into a nearby broom closet to hide.
From inside the closet, Alex heard the footsteps stop in front of the box just as it began creaking back open. Shit, the thought raced through her mind. Thinking fast, she quickly released her Lampent. “Lumiera, I need you to sneak up on that guy and lead him away,” the girl whispered to her Pokemon. “Once you lead him far enough away, go invisible and then meet me back at the ballroom.”
The Lampent phased through the wall and, a few moments later, Alex heard shouting in the corridor. “Hey! Hey, get back here!” A man shouted. Once she heard the sound of footsteps running away, Alex made her move. She rushed back to the box and inserted the drive into one of the ports.
“I’m in,” Shandra’s voice sounded in Alex’s earpiece.
“Okay. I’m gonna take the drive out now,” Alex replied. “I need to get out of here.” She quickly pulled the drive out and locked the box back up, then made her way back to the ballroom.
Upon returning, the girl looked around for her crewmates, but she was unable to locate them in the crowd. Alex moved to the edge of the room near the passageway where she had snuck out and waited for her Lampent to return. Several moments passed, and still the Pokemon did not return. Alex began to fear that something bad had happened.
“Guys, Lumiera still hasn’t come back yet,” Alex informed her crewmates over the comms, her voice full of worry. “I had her lead the guards away, but it’s been over fifteen minutes and she still hasn’t come back.”
“I’ll see if I can find anything on the cameras,” Shandra responded. Surely she can find her from inside the computer, Alex thought. “Your Lampent got captured and is being taken somewhere else,” Shandra informed her a few minutes later. “I’m gonna see if I can figure out where.”
“We need to rescue her!” Alex cried out. She quickly hushed herself, noticing several nearby conference goers giving her strange looks.
“We need to know where they took your Pokemon first,” Shandra told her. The comms went silent, and Alex assumed that Shandra was working on finding out Lumiera’s location, but after a while, something seemed off.
“Hello?” Alex asked. “Shandra?”
Silence. Oh no, not her too!
“Shandra, are you there!?”
“Alex, just calm down,” Morgan’s voice sounded on the comms. “We don’t want to make a scene. Let’s just… regroup at the room and figure out or next move.”
Back in the room, Alex paced impatiently back and forth, waiting to hear from Shandra. The others sat around the room with expressions of varying degrees of worry on their faces. It had been well over an hour since they had lost contact with Shandra and they really didn’t know what to do. Alex anxiously clutched at the drive hanging around her neck.
“We should have heard from her by now,” Alex said to her crewmates, but the room remained silent. “What if something bad happened? She could be hurt, or-”
“I’m sure she’s fine,” Morgan said, trying to sound reassuring, but Alex could tell she didn’t really believe that.
“Hey, guys, can you hear me?” Shandra’s voice finally sounded over the comms a few moments later.
“Oh my God, are you okay?!” Alex shouted. “Are you hurt?! What happened?!”
“I’m fine,” Shandra answered. “I may have made a few friends in the virus quarantine, but I’m out now and I’m in the security mainframe.”
“Did you find Lumiera yet!?” Alex asked. Now that she knew Shandra was safe, all the girl’s worry was focused on her Pokemon.
“I just got into the mainframe,” Shandra told her. “Give me a minute and I should be able to find her.” Several more minutes passed before Shandra reported her findings. “Alright, I’ve located Lumiera. She’s being held in the detention block, but she’s gonna be difficult to retrieve now. We should come back for her later.”
“No! We need to get her out right now!” Alex cried out.
“Okay, okay. Jeeze. But, like I said, the room is going to be hard to get to. I sent you guys the location.”
“Alright, let’s go!” Alex shouted, running for the door.
Morgan quickly grabbed the girl’s arm. “Wait, you’re just going to get captured yourself,” she warned.
“But I need to save her!” Alex cried, tears starting to form under her eyes. “It’s my fault she’s stuck in there!”
“Just calm down. We can’t just rush in there. We need to come up with a plan.”
“We could just try asking for it,” Dmitri suggested.
“That’s it!” Alex exclaimed. She quickly bolted out of the room before anyone could stop her.
“Wait, where are you going?!” the sound of Morgan’s voice followed after her.
Alex didn’t care; she knew what she had to do. She rushed down the hall to the security desk, intentionally working herself up as she approached. She was already quite distressed over Lumiera’s capture so putting on a convincing show was easy for her. “My Lampent ran off,” she cried to the guard at the desk. “I don’t know what happened… I think she may have gotten in trouble, she hasn’t come back yet!” The guard looked at her with an annoyed expression, like he really didn’t want to have to deal with her. “Please, you have to find her!” Alex told the guard as tears started rolling down her cheeks.
“I’ll put in a note to security,” the man responded. “But no promises.” He typed a brief message and sent it off, returning with an answer a few moments later. “Yeah, they have one in the detention block.”
“Please, I need her back!”
“Fine,” the guard sighed. “I’ll see what I can do.”
Shandra smiled as she watched Alex through the security feeds. From within the Halcyon’s mainframe, she had been able to monitor Lumiera’s trip from the detention block to her crewmates’ room. Seeing Alex reunited with her ghostly friend brought warm feelings to Shandra’s heart. The more time she spent with Alex, the more Shandra realized just how deep the girl’s bond with her Pokemon ran.
Suddenly, a thread of messages flashed past Shandra. It appeared that the Halcyon’s security forces would be keeping an eye on Alex now that her Pokemon had gotten into trouble. Shandra quickly hopped on the comms to pass the information along. “Judging from the communications I intercepted, they’re gonna be watching you from now on,” she addressed Alex specifically. “Just try not to do anything illegal for the rest of the conference.”
“I’m sorry,” Alex’s voice sounded in Shandra’s ear.
“No, Alex, It’s okay. You did a good job,” she reassured the girl. “I don’t think there’s much more you guys can do right now,” she continued, this time addressing the entire crew. “It’s late, so why don’t you get some sleep? I’ll go through the security footage overnight and let you guys know what I find in the morning.”
And that is exactly what Shandra did. Over the course of the night, she poured over the ship’s cargo and security logs. She checked up on all the councilors on the list Morgan had provided, and reviewed the cargo they had brought along and all the security footage of them, and slowly crossed them off. By the wee hours of the morning, she had narrowed the list down to only two names: Robert Heinkel of New Germany and Anders Nilsson of New Sweden.
Now to wait for everyone to wake up.
The next day, Shandra listened in as her crewmates hatched a plan with Arlon. Thanks to her hard work during the night, they were very close to achieving their objective. Now, Arlon was heading down to the cargo hold to get a better look at what Heinkel and Nilsson had stored there. Shandra had just seen him leave the hotel area, but now she wasn’t able to locate him on the security feeds.
“Alright, I’m going through Nilsson’s cargo now,” the mercenary suddenly announced over the comms.
“You’re in the cargo hold already?” Shandra asked in surprise. “I don’t see you.”
“I know how to avoid the cameras, luv,” Arlon replied.
Damn, he’s good. “Right, so what’s in the councilor’s cargo?”
“One box has some sort of credit mining machine in it, presumably for a later presentation. The other one’s empty. Find out if Nilsson is presenting. I’m gonna check out Heinkel’s cargo in the meantime.”
“Got it,” Shandra replied. She quickly looked over the conference schedule and spotted Nilsson on the list for the day. She then checked the security feeds and saw some sort of machinery being removed from the councilor’s box in the cargo hold. “Alright, he’s scheduled to give a presentation in about an hour. They moved whatever was in that box out for it.”
“He’s probably clean then,” Arlon responded.
“It must be Heinkel then,” Morgan suggested.
“We can’t say for sure,” Arlon told her. “We need to find some substantial evidence before we go after- what the bloody fuck?” He suddenly interrupted himself.
“What?” Morgan asked. “What is it?”
“This,” the mercenary answered. A moment later, Shandra received the image of a very suspicious, large metallic cylinder with a screen and several wires on it sitting inside the box.
“That… looks bad,” Alex commented. “Like, if this was a movie that would be the-”
“Bomb?” Morgan finished.
“Shit,” Arlon responded. “I did not see this one coming. This means Heinkel more than likely has the device we’re looking for. It’s definitely not here though. I need you guys to find the councilor and keep him occupied while I search his room. Shandra, wipe me off the camera footage. I’m about to alert the guards to this bomb.”
A few moments later, Shandra spotted Arlon swiftly walking down a hallway toward the hotel area of the ship. “Is the councilor in his room?” he asked once he arrived at his destination.
“No, Morgan and Dmitri are talking to him now,” Shandra answered, spotting her crewmates keeping Heinkel occupied.
“Alright, I’m entering the room now.”
“Hurry up, the councilor is leaving,” Shandra told the mercenary, spotting Heinkel break off conversation with Morgan and Dmitri.
“I’ve got it,” Arlon announced.
“The councilor is en route to his room,” Shandra warned him, watching Heinkel drawing near. Arlon emerged a moment later, and not a minute too soon; Shandra watched the mercenary pass Heinkel in the hallway on his way out of the hotel area.
Within the Halcyon’s mainframe, Shandra sat monitoring the security feeds, flipping back and forth between the auditorium where her crewmates were scheduled to present shortly and the cargo hold where the Red Suns were examining the bomb Arlon had discovered in councilor Heinkel’s cargo crate. Growing bored of watching the Red Suns poke around at the bomb, Shandra turned her attention back to the auditorium to see that Councilor Pennwood had finished speaking and Councilor Fontaine was now introducing the crew.
Shandra tapped into the audio system for the room just as the councilor turned the podium over to Morgan. “We have developed an advanced method of cybernetic augmentation to the Human body, opening a wide range of possibilities,” the young Genevan woman explained to the captive audience. “Through a process of infusing cybernetics into human DNA we have been able to increase the number of augmentations the body can handle as well as the power that they can output. Additionally, we have removed the threat of augmentation shock through the development of an immunity to electricity. And now our gracious volunteer, Subject H, would like to speak with you about his experiences.”
Morgan stepped back from the podium, allowing H to take over. The cyborg briefly cleared his throat, then dove right into his speech. “People of this ship, today is the day that Humanity takes its next evolutionary step towards perfection,” he declared. “Throughout our recent history, we have prevented all forms of evolution from taking place in our society. Our reasons for this are beyond justified, but that does not change our genetic stagnation. We have grown complacent with our physical failings and focused on improving our mind, leaving our body the same as it has been for the past millennia. Today, I propose we use our minds to change that.”
He paused momentarily to take a breath, then jumped right back in.
“Many of you may be wondering why I look different from the average Human. But you would be wrong, for today I look more Human than anyone ever has in our entire history. Today, you witness a man with cybernetic DNA— part primal Human, part the brainchild of Humanity. Cybernetic DNA is the perfect marriage of our past heritage and present ideas. It is a marriage that leads to a bright and shining future. So, join me, become one with this idea and spread it to the Universe so that we may all join in this incredible union of evolutionary progress.”
Shandra sighed. H was just as over the top as always. Shandra watched as a volunteer from the audience released an Electabuzz to test out the limits of H’s power. The crowd went wild when the cyborg was unscathed, and even more so when he used his command of electrical energy to produce a song. That got a surprised laugh from Shandra. Despite her distaste for H, she had to admit that the cyborg had truly captured the attention of the audience.
To wrap up, Morgan began fielding questions from the audience, but was cut short when the ship suddenly rocked and the power blipped off for a second across several sections of the ship. What the hell was that? Shandra quickly scanned the security feeds to find the source of the disturbance.
Before she could get the chance to figure out what was going on, Shandra saw a dozen warriors in red and black mechanized power armor wielding Aegislashes burst into the auditorium through a wall panel. Romanov Supremacy Knight Commandos— Shandra had heard about them from the news. The soldiers quickly moved through the room, dispatching the security forces. Shortly afterwards, Captain Heilovic stepped into the room through the hole in the wall, flanked by two Bisharps. “Passengers of the GCS Halcyon,” he announced. “This political summit is now a military operation.”
Crap, Shandra thought. How the hell did he find us?
The Knight Commandos moved to block the exits, leaving the crowd, along with Shandra’s crewmates trapped. Shandra watched Alex discretely slip off the stage and blend into the crowd while the soldiers weren’t looking. What are you doing Alex? she thought with worry.
“What the bloody hell is going on up there!?” Arlon’s voice suddenly sounded over the comms.
“The Supremacists are here!” Shandra replied.
“Shit. What’s the situation?” the mercenary asked.
“The rest of the crew is trapped in the presentation hall by a squad of heavily armored soldiers. I’m only seeing twelve on the security feeds, plus Captain Heilovic.”
“Understood,” Arlon responded. “We need to deal with this bomb first. Once it’s taken care of, we’ll be there as soon as we can. Sit tight.”
Shandra turned her attention back to the security feed just in time to see Heilovic leaving the auditorium with Heinkel and a pair of Knight Commandos. Meanwhile H, Morgan, and Dmitri began moving toward each other. Suddenly, H threw his arms around his two crewmates as a robotic third arm emerged from under his shirt holding two smoke bombs. The cyborg quickly threw one up at the ceiling and one down at the floor beneath them. He then lifted his leg and fired it at the doorway. It magnetized to the wall, then H retracted it, pulling him and his crewmates across the room. They flew over the Commandos guarding the door, then made a break for it. Alex immediately bolted out from the crowd after them, but as she reached the door, one of the Commandos grabbed her. Shandra tensed up, but breathed a sigh of relief as the girl slipped out of the Romanov’s grasp and ran out the door.
Now that her crewmates weren’t in any immediate danger, Shandra turned her focus toward getting communications online. The Halcyon had been blocking outgoing communication, but now that its location had been compromised, Shandra thought it was imperative that they call for help as soon as possible. As she worked, Shandra glanced at the security feed and saw that her crewmates had regrouped. Alex appeared to be freaking out about something, but without audio, she had no idea what was happening.
“Arlon here,” the familiar voice sounded over the comms suddenly. Shandra remained focused on her task, but listened to what he had to say. “We ran into a bit of situation down here. These Supremacist bastards are hard to take down. We ran in with just two of them and it was almost too much. What’s the situation like up there? Tell me you’ve escaped.”
“Yeah, we made it out,” Morgan responded him. “We’re in the residential area.”
“That’s a relief,” Arlon replied.
With a little more effort, Shandra deactivated the systems blocking outside communication to the ship. “You’ll be happy to know that I’ve managed to help get communications online,” she announced over the comms.
“Excellent work,” Arlon told her. “I’ll call the Corsair. See if you can’t get a hold of the Federation.”
Shandra was about to follow Arlon’s suggestion when she spotted Heilovic angrily shouting into his comm system. “Hold up,” she said. “I’ve got Heilovic on the security feed. He seems to be responding to someone on their comms. I don’t think he found what he was looking for. It would be a huge help if we could hear what they were saying.”
“We’ve got two unconscious Supremacists down here,” Arlon replied. “This will be no problem. Kiril, take this helmet. Let me know what they’re saying.”
There was a brief moment of silence before Arlon spoke again. “Heilovic’s headed your way. Watch out.”
“Thanks for the heads up,” Shandra told him. “If you could get your team over to the residential area-”
“We’re already on our way.”
Alex ran after Morgan as the two rushed to the Halcyon’s med bay. They were headed there to collect a bunch of supplies H had requested for whatever crazy scheme he had cooked up, but that was the last thing on the Sinai girl’s mind at the moment. All she could think about was Loki; her Meowstic had been snatched away from her by that Romanov soldier when she fled the auditorium. I hope he’s okay. She dreaded what fate might befall her Pokemon.
As soon as they arrived at the med bay, Morgan immediately began collecting the supplies H sent them to find. “Why do we need all this crap?” Alex asked anxiously, still thinking about her missing Pokemon.
“H has a plan,” Morgan answered. “I don’t know what it is, but at least we have one.”
“I hope it works…” We should be trying to get Loki back, not following one of H’s stupid plans.
“I’ve got everything,” Dmitri sounded over the comms.
“Excellent,” came H’s reply. “Meet up in the pool room. What’s the status of those sedatives?”
“We’ve got them,” Morgan responded as she grabbed the last of the sedatives.
“Alright, I got through to the Halberd,” Shandra announced just as Morgan was preparing to hand Alex a pile of sedatives. “Graves is sending the Third Fleet. There’s not really much else I can do from in here, so I think it’s time I got out.”
“Shandra can you get here?” Morgan asked. “Alex, plug that drive into that computer so she can find us.” Alex nodded, then ran over to the computer and jammed Shandra’s drive into the first port she saw.
“I see it,” Shandra said a few moments later. “I’m working my way to you.”
“Hurry up,” H pitched in.
“I can only go so fast,” Shandra responded. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
A few minutes later, Shandra sprung out of the computer, grabbing the drive and yanking it out in the process. Despite the urgent situation, Alex was glad to see her in person once again. They shared a very brief embrace before gathering up the last of the sedatives and exiting the med bay.
“There is no way this plan is going to work,” Shandra said as she and Morgan waited for the arrival of the Knight Commandos across the hallway from the pool. H had already broadcasted their location to the Romanov soldiers, so it was only a matter of time before they showed up.
“H has come through for us before,” Morgan offered.
“But there’s no way these Knight Commandos can be that stupid, right?”
“We’ll just have to wai- hold on. Here they come.”
The pair quickly ducked back as a squad of five Knight Commandos passed the doorway, en route to the pool room. Peering out after the soldiers had passed, Shandra noticed that one of them was holding what was obviously one of Alex’s modded Pokeballs. “Five Knight Commandos headed your way,” she whispered into the comms. “One of them has Alex’s Pokeball.
“Got it,” Arlon replied. “I’ll make a move for it when I get the chance.”
Shandra watched the Commandos stop outside the door to the pool room and begin powering up their shields. “I knew they weren’t gonna fall for it,” she said to Morgan. “What do you want to do?”
“Let’s just wait and see what happens.”
After several minutes, the Romanov soldiers finally entered the room. Suddenly there was a shout, followed by several loud crashes. “I take it that’s our cue,” Shandra said. She pulled out a Pokeball and began running for the pool room with Morgan close behind. “C.A.L.I., use Topsy-Turvy!” Shandra commanded her Inkay as she released her. The Pokemon fired a blast of warpy energy at one of the Commandos, which caused his armor to short out. The armored soldier collapsed into the pool, joining two more that had already been knocked in.
Suddenly, Arlon leapt off of his Aggron’s back, landing behind one the Commandos still standing. The mercenary quickly nabbed Alex’s Pokeball off the soldier before he knew what was happening. “Hey, kid!” Arlon shouted Alex. “Catch!” He jumped back, out of the Commando’s reach as he moved to attack, then tossed the ball to Alex.
The girl reached out and caught the ball, then quickly placed it on her belt. She then reached for another, releasing Leviathan. The mighty Pokemon filled the room with storm clouds and it began to rain. “Use Thunder!” Alex shouted. Leviathan cast down a giant bolt of lightning which struck the water as H unleashed one of his own from the pool’s center. The entire pool sparked, violently shorting out the armor of the three Romanovs inside it.
H quickly jumped out of the water as Kiril Zhukov pulled a frost cannon off his back. “Stand back!” the Romanov shouted as he took aim. Once everyone was clear, he fired the cannon at the pool, causing the whole thing freezes over and leaving the Commandos and their Pokemon trapped.
The two remaining Commandos rushed at Shandra’s Inkay. One landed a punch, but the small Pokemon managed to avoid the second. Hang in their C.A.L.I., Shandra thought as she dropped into warp space to prepare for an attack from behind. As she moved through the swirls of violet and red, she saw shadowy distortions of the battle; one of the Commandos appeared to be taken down, so she moved in toward the other, then dropped back into real space behind him. She struck the Aegislash in the Romanov’s hand before he could get the chance to block.
“You’ve lost this one,” Arlon said to the Commando as he closed in with his two Pokemon. “We’ve got you surrounded. Stand down.”
“You are not my commanding officer,” the Commando replied coldly. “You are not Romanov.” He then took a swing at Shandra, but she instinctively teleported out of the way. Better luck next time, pal.
“Wrong move, mate,” Arlon told the Commando.
“C.A.L.I., use Topsy-Turvy!” Shandra commanded her Inkay from safety. The Pokemon blasted the Commando with another wave of warpy energy, shorting out his shields and weakening his armor plating.
“Jiraiya, finish him off!” Arlon then ordered his Greninja. “Water Shuriken!” The Greninja threw a bunch of watery projectiles at the Commando, four of which hit him dead on, knocking him to the ground. The Romanov soldier tried to get back up, but Arlon placed his foot on the his back and pushed him back down. “You should’ve fucking surrendered, mate.” The mercenary kicked the man in the head, knocking him out cold.
“I am hearing on comm that Federation fleet is here,” Kiril announced to the group as a wave of Romanov chatter came in. “Heilovic is going to ‘Plan B.’ They are evacuating.”
“I don’t like the sound of that…” Arlon said.
As if on cue, Petra, Arlon’s recently arrived lieutenant, radioed in from the cargo hold. “Arlon, we’ve got a problem,” the Romanov woman said with urgency. “The timer on the bomb just activated.”
“Shit. How much time is left?”
“Arlon, if zat bomb goes off it will react with the warp drive of every ship in the Federation fleet,” Rena warned him. “We ‘ave to disarm it.”
“Goddamn it!” Arlon shouted, “Matt, hail the Federation fleet, warn them about the bomb, tell them to keep their distance.”
“Got it, boss,” the Red Suns’ pilot responded.
“Petra, we’re on our way to you now. Everyone else, fall back to the Corsair! You’ve got five minutes!”
Shandra felt out of breath as the group arrived at the cargo hold. After hearing about the bomb, they had made a mad dash across the Halcyon. Looking at the others, she could tell they were equally winded. Her attention then fell on the bomb, which displayed four minutes on the timer.
“We need to disarm this thing now!” Arlon shouted.
Shandra quickly ran up to the bomb to get a better look. “It looks like this bomb is designed to create an unstable warp explosion,” she told the group after a cursory examination of the device. “I’m going to focus on keeping the Warp stable and try to buy us some time.” Her mark began glowing fiercely as she concentrated her energy on the bomb.
“Can we find a way to disconnect the warp core and get it out of here?” Arlon asked.
“There’s no way. If we try to disconnect something, it could cause the bomb to explode,” H told the mercenary.
“We don’t have time for this,” Petra warned them. “We need to get out of here now.”
“We ‘ave to do something,” Rena responded. “Ze ramifications of zis ship exploding…”
“It will not be so easy,” Kiril pointed out. “This is beautiful bomb. Very advanced technology.”
“But wasn’t it the Red Suns who made that warp gate virus?” Shandra asked.
“From what I understand, Garth acquired that virus from…” Arlon trailed off.
“From who?” Shandra asked, although, in the back of her mind, she already knew the answer. Who else could it be?
“From Mr. Silver,” Arlon answered. “The tech in this bomb feels too much like him. He has to be involved. When we get out of here, we need to take that son of a bitch down.”
“We need to deal with this bomb first,” Morgan told him.
“Well, if you have any bloody ideas on how to disarm it, by all means!” Arlon shouted.
The room rapidly devolved into a shouting match of contradicting theories about disarming the bomb. All the while, the timer slowly ticked away. This is getting us nowhere, Shandra thought as the argument grew increasingly heated. We’re running out of time.
“What are you-?” Morgan suddenly asked. Shandra looked over to see Alex press a Pokeball to the bomb. The room fell silent as it was pulled inside the ball.
The ball began glowing in Alex’s hand.
Shandra watched the girl’s hand trembling as the glow grew ever brighter.
Alex’s face was full of pain and terror. Thinking quickly, Shandra grabbed the ball out of the girl’s hand; it was burning hot to the touch. Ignoring the pain, Shandra jumped into the nearest computer she could find and threw the ball away before popping back to the real world. “I left it inside the computer,” she informed rest of the team. “I think that’s all we can do.”
“Right, let’s get out of here,” Arlon agreed. “Everyone fall back to the Corsair.”
The team ran as fast as they could to where the Red Suns’ frigate was docked and quickly climbed aboard. “Matt, get us out of here!” Arlon shouted as they ran to the bridge.
“Already on it,” the pilot responded.
“Sir, I’m getting some strange readings from the Halcyon’s warp drive,” one of the bridge crew announced as the team arrived on the bridge. “It seems to be powering up.”
“You’ve got to be shitting me.”
“Can we hail them?” Shandra asked.
“Go ahead,” Arlon told her, opening a channel to the Halcyon.
“Hello, can anyone hear me?” Shandra asked.
“This is the Halcyon. We’re in the midst of evacuations.”
“Is there any chance you could conduct evacuations without the power on?”
“That would turn off life support.”
“Right. Can you cut power to just the warp drive, then?”
“We’ll try deactivating it.”
“Sir, the Supremacist ship is leaving,” Matt announced.
“Follow that bastard,” Arlon ordered him.
The pilot altered course in pursuit of the RSS Envy as the Romanov ship fired a volley of shots at the Halcyon, the nearest Federation ship, and the Corsair itself. Matt quickly rolled the sip, avoiding the incoming fire.
Arlon sat down at one of the gun controls and took aim at the Envy. “All hands, man the guns,” he ordered over the comms. “Take down that Romanov ship!” Shandra watched out the viewport as a massive volley of laser fire raced toward the Envy. Explosions detonated all along the Romanov destroyer, crippling the engines. “Burn in hell, you son of a bitch.”
“The readings off the Halcyon’s warp drive are getting really weird,” the same crewman from before announced.
“Get us out of here!” Arlon ordered Matt. The pilot fired up the warp drive and jumped away as another of the Envy’s engines exploded.
Author’s Notes: This was a really fun chapter to write for me. It was cool to take the four chapter arc in canon that covered the Conference and smash it all together into one chapter, making clever uses of perspective to keep things from getting too long. Showing large portions of the action through Shandra’s perspective in the mainframe was fun, and it showed how scenes that were written separately, but happened at the same time lined up with each other. It also let me to cut out a lot of length. A lot of the content here is very similar to the origin chapters, albeit with more detail, but the Conference is such a turning point in the narrative that it had to be included. In writing this it was really only a matter of cutting out scenes that didn’t need to be there, such as the exhibition battles, some of the planning scenes, the pre-conference scenes on Parisia, and some of the scenes that were from H’s perspective. I also cut out a lot of the meat from the Red Suns scenes by just showing Shandra’s glimpses through the security feeds.
The only completely original scene I included was the one I opened the chapter with. Given that this is a fancy conference, at least during the evening balls, I decided to play around with the crew’s clothing for some comedy and character development. It was briefly mentioned that Alex was wearing a dress for the ball in the original chapters, but I felt like expanding on it for some reason. I had this mental image of her outfit and kinda just wanted to include it, but it does show some of her personality how she wore something that was way more girly than what she likes to wear in order to keep her scars hidden.
Overall, I’m very proud of how this chapter turned out. From here on out, things are going to start taking a big turn away from the canon so it’s going to be fun to take the plot in new and interesting places. In a way, this super chapter is like a last hurrah for the chapters that pull heavily from the original story.
That does it for this chapter. As always the Spacemon gang and I will be monitoring the comments to foster discussion and answer any questions. Feel free to give feedback and critiques of the writing so I can improve it for the future, or just leave a comment with what you think about what went down in this chapter or what you think might happen next! You can also revisit past chapters, check out the Spacemon Appendix which is a repository of information on all the lore and characters of Spacemon, or like our Facebook page to stay updated on all things Spacemon! Click here for the next exciting installment of Spacemon: Blueshift!